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Summit County schools enforce masks as COVID-19 positivity rate reaches 2%

Posted at 9:36 PM, Nov 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-17 23:36:10-05

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah — Four schools in Summit County must mask up to prevent COVID-19 cases from climbing.

The Summit County Health Department told FOX 13 that this is the highest number of schools with a mask mandate since the department issued a public health order months ago.

Students and staff at Parley’s Park Elementary, Trailside Elementary, Silver Summit Academy and the Ecker Hill Middle School must wear face-coverings for two weeks. Ecker Hill Middle School is the latest school to enforce a mandate, starting Wednesday.

The mask mandate goes into effect when schools in Summit County reach a 2% positivity rate over a two week span.

“There’s definitely been a surge,” said Dr. Phil Bondurant, Summit County Health director. “It’s a surge that’s consistent with what the rest of the state is seeing.”

Parley’s Park parent Nick Hill said he took his son out of school for a few days to wait for case rates to stabilize.

“There’s some concern case rates could really grow exponentially. They did go up, thankfully they didn’t go up exponentially,” he said.

Hill and other Park City School District parents expressed their concerns over mask compliance and case counts at the district board meeting Tuesday night.

Over five hundred people signed an online petition created two weeks ago, claiming the school wasn’t enforcing the mandate enough the first week of November.

The Park City School District Board of Education released a statement on Monday, saying the school district has spent “countless hours adjusting to ever-changing guidance and laws” in regards to the pandemic.

The board also shared the Summit County Health Department’s findings four compliance checks, which conclude the school has “taken necessary measures” to “ensure compliance with the public health order.”

“Certainly now it does look like they are reluctantly doing the right thing,” said Hill.

With four schools now enforcing a mandate, Bondurant said vaccines can also help stop the climbing the cases.

“We were able to within the first week, between ourselves and partnerships with pharmacies and local pediatricians, vaccinated 1200 kids,” he said.

Bondurant said that’s a third of the county’s eligible five to eleven-year-olds.